UAE- Banks lift bourses to fresh highs

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) The banking sector lifted UAE stock markets to fresh multi-year highs on Monday as both bourses witnessed their highest levels since late 2009. Dubai's benchmark index jumped by 1.4 per cent to 1,986 points, its highest level since December 2009. Dubai Islamic Bank, or DIB, was the top mover as its share price climbed by 5.9 per cent to Dh2.50. "The rally was led by the banking sector with both Abu Dhabi and Dubai banks performing extremely well," Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi's Asset Management Group, told Khaleej Times. Abu Dhabi's index recorded its biggest one-day gain in more than two years, jumping 1.8 per cent to 3,153 points. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange's index touched its highest level since November 2009. Share prices of First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank increased by 3.79 per cent to Dh15.05 and 3.12 per cent to Dh4.29, respectively. "UAE bank are undoubtedly undervalued and as the UAE economy improves so will the fundamentals of the banking sector. Dividend payments and NPLs [non-performing loans] for the banking sector have in general been in an improving trend adding to the underlying attractiveness of the sector," Khokhar said. DIB led the Dubai Financial Market with 22.3 million shares changing hands, followed by Dubai Investments' 18 million. Emaar Properties had 12.39 million shares moving and its stock price jumped by 1.34 per cent to Dh5.28.  

Khaleej Times

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